A minimum age requirement of 21 years for a truck driver in the U.S. could be deterring young people from applying for vacancies, despite many not wanting to do so due to the job’s long hours and hectic schedule.
Trucking companies may solve their recruitment woes by seeking driver leasing or staffing solutions, which could further support the federal government’s proposal of lowering the required age limit.
The Drive Safe Act involves setting the minimum age from 21 years old to 18 years old. Several states allow people at least 18 years old to have a commercial driver’s license, yet they should already be 21 before they could drive trucks across state borders.
Those who are below 21 and are interested in applying for truck driver position should complete a minimum of 400 hours of on-duty time, aside from having 240 hours of trucking experience with an old-timer. The proposal will also be crucial to replace the existing fleet of workers who are nearing retirement, as the average age for a commercial driver today is 55 years old.
According to an American Trucking Association report in 2017, there is a need for nearly 900,000 new drivers. Without the federal bill, it could be even tougher to attract young Americans to pursue a career as a truck driver.
That’s because most people are not willing to wait to be 21 years old after they graduate from high school. Some companies have solved the burden of applying for a commercial driver’s license among applicants, by offering up to $8,000 of financial support for their training requirements.
Truck drivers are important to the U.S. economy since the industry accounts for a significant portion of all consumer good shipments. While the federal bill is good news, companies need to be creative in filling urgent positions.